- 10/10/2019 9:33 AM
- 01/08/2020 3:08 PM
- 07/02/2020 5:18 PM
There is a very common saying, which stands true throughout time: “Do not judge a book by its cover.” It may be a bit surprising to, once again, hear or read this specific sentence. This one saying is being used countlessly by a large array of people and their cultures.
But why? Why do we still hear this one sentence echoing indefinitely in our daily lives? There is hardly any clearly defined answer. However, as human beings, we are usually being illuded by the “cover” from comprehending the real story that exists inside the “book” itself.
“Why bother visiting stones when you can visit beautiful mountains and seaside areas?”
“The weather is so hot. There is nothing much to see. They are just stones and rocks”
These are some of the Cambodian people’s perspectives when they visit some of the temples in Cambodia, especially those in Siem Reap Province. It is generally accepted that those temples are built from stones and rocks. The same elements that make up the ocean floors and the mountain cores. The force of nature does curve very beautiful, intricate and complex landscape. However, temples are more than just stones stacked on top of one another.
They are the resemblance of the god-like souls as well as the human souls. The souls full of dedication, energy, sacrifice, creativity and mystery. The souls that encouraged the ancestors to build the impossible and the unimaginable. The souls that provoke a jaw-dropping feeling. The souls that have puzzled historians, archeologists, architects and other experts for generations.
The stones that have seen wars and bloodshed, massacres and brutal destructions. The stones that have seen the rise of empires, prosperity and diplomacy. The stones that have sheltered the gods and goddesses. These stones were the product of a divine intention. From the mountains onto the bamboo boats across the freshwater streams.
From a smooth, ordinary surface to a surface filled with sculptures and hard-to-decipher scripts. From individual pieces of mindfully carved rocks to gigantic monuments. An ancient dream made possible by nothing but sheer human muscles. A time capsule and a portal into the past. A distant past. A center point where ancient politics and economies were played out.
You are not just visiting stones or even temples. You are visiting a rare collection of souls, a large pool of knowledge, stories, mysterious and mythical tales. You are walking back in time into a different world as you navigate through the temples’ complex maze. Offer yourselves a few minutes to appreciate those “stones.”
They are not just mere stones. They are connections of souls resting and thriving throughout the millenniums.